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Issue 18

Writers - Paul Matthews, Nick Laird, Allie Cherry, James Whyte, Alan Surgeon, Linda Thompson, Ann Mariott, Paul Robertson. Edit and Design - Brian Houston

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Gay Men's Health
Pride Scotia



Condoms used with a water-based lube are still the surest way to protect against HIV infection. New research shows that standard strength condoms are just as reliable as thicker 'extra strong' ones for anal sex.


There is now a larger variety of condoms from which you can choose. Everyone's cock is different, so you know you can shop around for the condom that's best for you. You can get condoms in different thicknesses, smaller and larger than the standard and in slightly different shapes. Always use a condom with the CE mark or British Standard Kitemark which means that they are monitored for quality. Some commonly availabe and reliable brands are: Pasante, Durex, Mates, Condomi and Safeguard Forte.

Condoms with nonoxynol 9 lubricant can irritate the lining of the arse. This could lead to an increased risk of HIV transmission if condoms aren't being used or if a condom broke. If you find this is the case, then change to a brand without - most now are.


Unroll the condom over the cock right to the base. Don't unroll the condom before putting it on. Squeeze the air out of the teat (if there is one).

Put lots of water-based lube over the outside of the condom. Don't put lube on it before putting it on - it might slip off. If there's lube on the cock, wipe it off before putting the condom on.

Put water-based lube on and up the arsehole of choice.

Occasionally, check that the condom is still on and not torn while you're fucking. Water-based lubes tend to dry up, so if you fuck for a long time then you'll need to add more along the way. If you fuck for more than 45 minutes, put a new condom on.

When you pull out, hold onto the condom at the base, so that you don't leave it behind (it happens!). You should pull out before your cock goes soft.

Practice makes perfect! Men who feel confident using condoms tend to use them better. Practice putting them on - on your own, or with someone else - until you're confident.


Use lots of water-based lube on the outside of the condom and up and around the arse. The best known brands are Pasante Light Lube, WET, ID Glide and Bodywise Liquid Silk. Avoid any oil based lubricants as they rot the rubber and can cause the condoms to break!

If you can't find suitable condoms and lube, remember that Gay Men's Health supplies free Safer Sex Packs to all gay venues in Edinburgh . If you have any questions about condom use, or any aspect of safer sex, call Gay Men's health on 0131 558 9444.

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Core is a partnership project representing the LGBT community in Scotland. Views expressed are not necessarily those of the partners. However, if they're witty, intelligent and insightful - they probably are. If you flicked through this mag, saw a photie and made an assumption about someone's sexuality - then you're about ten years behind what we're trying to do here. Click the mag off and walk away. Accurate at going online time, but hey, we didn't get this sarky without making mistakes.